How to Make Any Get-Together Better: At Home or Out

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Ideas to improve any time you have people over

Elevate your hosting, and their enjoyment

You’re having your friends over, and you’ve decided it isn’t going to be just any old hangout. Or maybe you’re looking at how to make your dinners out more fun, but aren’t sure where to start. Well, what the team at Partytrick does for our professions is literally teaching you how to make any experience better—to elevate any social experience. 

It can be things as small or large as you like. The beauty is in the details…as someone wise once said (and dare we ponder, they were likely a wonderful host!) Here are our favorite go-to ways for what to do for a party, how to make your celebration special, what to add to a display, and many, many more ideas to make your gathering even better.

how to decorate at home

How to make a gathering special At Home

For when you invite your friends over, and decide to take it up a level from the standard night at home. Be it a dinner party, a game night, a casual cocktail hour… add a few of these and go from simple to sophisticated.

how to make my home cute for guests
  • Cute straws and swizzle sticks: Inspo here
  • Customize your ice cubes: Your cocktails (or mocktails) will never be the same
  • Food presentation: Whether you use tiers, your pretty plates, or your standard everyday plates to set up a dinner scene like this one—just adding a level of intention makes a difference.

Pro Tip: Stack books, arrange tablecloth over them, and set serving plates on top. Instant tiers, no specialty tiered plate needed.

what to do when having people over
  • Set the mood with music and lighting: What we see and hear can create a certain ambiance and completely transform the tone of a gathering. Choose music that matches the vibe of your group and adjust the lighting to create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Also don’t underestimate the power of fairy lights. They shed light and set a mood.
  • Flowers: Need we say more? Adding any sort of fresh blooms, greenery, potted plants, or all of the above will give your space a sense of welcome to anyone who enters. If you’re looking for how to arrange flowers, look here.
  • ~Or, if you want to switch it up (and maybe even consider hosting a Taco Tuesday theme…) try this cactus arrangement. Easier than it looks! Just don’t poke yourself. 
  • Set up a bar…of food displays: Anytime you arrange food or drinks in a fun new way with personality, the snack of choice is immediately that much better. It shows you put the extra thought into giving your gathering something special.
  • ~Set Up a Popcorn Bar
  • ~How to Set Up a Hot Cocoa Bar

If you’re planning an outdoor gathering, check out our Tips for Hosting Outside. You’ll be prepared for all of the elements, and your guests will have a stellar time. 

What to do when Going Out

Did you know that you can take a seemingly simple night out on the town, add an element to personalize it, and blow your friends away with the thought behind it? (You can—here's how!)

how to make a dinner out special
  1. Name cards: Call the restaurant ahead and have name cards set out.
  2. Garnishes: Send cute drink garnishes to the restaurant ahead of time.
  3. Personalize menus for the occasion: Even if “just for fun” — a menu saying that for your group instantly gives it a level of intention and fun. If celebrating an event, print out “Happy Birthday” or “Congrats on your Engagement!” on menus. (Set this up with the restaurant beforehand to do so).
  4. Dress up: Coordinate a dress code to bring the extra chic feel we all know and love.
  5. Special touch: Arrange for the restaurant to have a specialty cocktail or bottle of champagne ready and waiting for you at the table—any personal touch like this instantly gives the night an extra flair.

Screenshot and save this for easy reference next time you want to elevate your social experience!

how to make a night out special

For gatherings elsewhere

For a few other ways to add a thoughtful element to your social gatherings, try these top tips for your other get-togethers. 

For the Beach Day

It doesn't need to be just any old beach day (but can you ever go wrong at the beach?)

what to do at the beach
  • Floats: If you want to truly feel like a kid again, snag some inflatable floats. Blow these up, take them out into the waves, pretend they’re a boogie board… and we’ll let you experience the rest.
  • Fresh cut fruit: Nothing says sunshine like cold, crisp, sliced peaches, watermelon, even grapes—pick your seed of choice here. Pack a cold bag, slice them up, and dish out the goodness. Your friends’ days will be made.
  • Bring a table: Hear us out. We know it sounds simple. But the instant you set up a table at your beach set-up, add a tablecloth (or thin beach towel), and arrange the snacks, your beach day is a step above the rest.
what to bring to the beach

What To Do in a Park

Sometimes you want to get out of the house… but the full-on reservation element just isn’t the vibe. For this: queue up the local park. With a few of these tips, your park experience is something to be so proud of.

what to bring to a park
  • Picnic: A blanket, cute basket, your favorite snacks or takeout, and a portable speaker. Done.
  • Canned wine and cocktails: Let’s be honest, these are fun anywhere.
  • Outdoor games: Don’t underestimate how much fun those of us grown-ups-who-still-think-we’re-kids will have when you bust out the frisbee, Spikeball set, corn hole… you name it. 

How to Set Up a Tailgate

For the whole shebang of setting up a tailgate, you’ll want to jump over to Tailgate Party by Partytrick. But for the top tips of scoring those extra points for your guests, see below.

what to bring to a tailgate
  • Hang pennant flags in your team’s color.
  • Bring coozies for the occasion. Just like us, drinks look better in a cute outfit. 
  • Throw a football in the bag: Maybe you already did. But this is your reminder to check that it’s there.
how to set up a tailgate

Any Old Bar Scene

It’s Friday night, the crew wants to get together, but is feeling uninspired. Here’s how you bring the extra element of fun to the night.

how to switch up weekend plans
  • Deck of cards: Find a game that your crew can learn easily, and start an ongoing game. Keep a scoreboard, loser buys drinks, and Friday night at the bar is that much more memorable (or not)
  • Keep a scoreboard: If you're playing games, you might as well make it an ongoing competition. Stash the scoreboard in your clutch so you can bring it out next time your Friday night wounds up at a bar with a casual drink.
  • Polaroid camera: Have you ever had a bad time when a polaroid (or disposable) camera was involved? Exactly. Make the memories. Keep them for later.
  • No longer strangers: Pick a new person for each of your group to introduce themselves to. Try an easy convo-starter like "Where is your favorite place in the world?" or "If you could do anything tomorrow, no constraints, what would it be?"

Tips for Decorating a Party 

In terms of taking your social gathering to the next level, if you want to focus specifically on decor, well, we have compiled a list of exactly what to focus on for this.

ideas for decorating a party
  1. Choose a theme: Selecting a theme can help guide your decoration choices and create a cohesive look for your party. If you’re lacking inspiration for what party theme to go with… have you heard of Partytrick? (Sparknotes: Your back pocket party planner) 
  2. Coordinate colors: Incorporating color into your decorations creates a festive and memorable atmosphere. Choose colors that complement each other and work well with your chosen theme.
  3. Create a focal point: Choose a focal point for your decorations, such as a dessert table or a photo backdrop. This can help create a central area for guests to gather and take pictures. Check these ideas out on how to set up your backdrops for photos. 
  4. Use lighting: Lighting can help set the mood for your party. Consider using string lights, lanterns, or candles to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.
  5. Personalize your decorations: Adding personalized touches can make your party feel special and unique. Consider putting together custom banners or signs, or using photos of the guest of honor as part of your decorations.
  6. Incorporate balloons: Balloons are a classic party decoration that can add color and fun to your event. Consider creating balloon bouquets or arches, or using balloons to complete your backdrop. Psst… balloon arches are easier than you’d think, and oh so satisfying when complete!
  7. Don't forget the table settings: If you'll be serving food at your party, consider adding some decorative touches to your table settings. How you set up your servingware, fold your napkins, garnish your drinks, and add glimmer with your tablescape or some fresh flowers makes a massive difference. 
top tips for how to decorate a party at home

Our Top Tips for Setting Up a Party Outside

While on the page of elevating a social experience, there are those times when taking it outside is the move. Which is where these tips come in handy to add to your party planning checklist. If you didn’t check out our Tips for Hosting Outside just a few paragraphs up, allow us to enlighten you on, well, lighting up your scene when you want to send the party outside at home.

tips for setting up a party outside
  1. Pick your location: Consider the size of your guest list and choose a location that can fit everyone comfortably. Make sure there's enough space for tables, chairs, and anything else you'll need for your party.
  2. Make sure there is shade… but don’t throw any ;) If you're hosting your party during the day, consider creating some shade to help keep your guests cool and comfortable. Use umbrellas, canopies, or a large tent to keep your guests cool from the sun.
  3. Rent tables and chairs: If you don't have enough seating for your guests, consider renting tables and chairs. This will help ensure everyone has a place to sit and enjoy the party.
how to set up a party outside
  1. Use outdoor lighting: Use string lights or lanterns to create a warm and inviting atmosphere as the sun sets. Make sure to have plenty of lighting around the seating areas, food and drink stations, and any other key areas of your party.
  2. Bust out the beats: Music can help create a festive atmosphere for your party. Set up the Sonos, bring out the speaker system, and find that playlist of songs that match your party’s mood.

Pro Tip: Did you know that with every party by Partytrick, we curate Spotify playlists specifically for each party? Start your free trial today.

  1. Have a plan for pests: Depending on the location and time of day, you may need to take steps for bug control. Use citronella candles or other insect-repellent products to help keep bugs away from your guests.
decorations for outside

We can’t wait to see how elevating your social experiences takes your memories to the next level. Tag us @partytrick for a chance to be featured. Or, submit your requests for a customized party to fit what you’re looking for. The limit of fun does not exist. Let the party go on. 

Give these tips a try for any gathering, or one of our expertly curated party plans:

...or any custom party. Just talk to our party experts ;) 

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